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Gabo Island goes Solar

Thursday 9 November, 2017

Parks Victoria has recently installed its biggest and most remote solar power system on Gabo Island.

Until recently, staff and guests staying on the island relied exclusively on a diesel generator and battery storage for electricity. But now, with the 10-kW solar power system up and running, the sun is playing a major role in the island’s future electricity needs.

Gabo Island is just 13 kilometers offshore from the town of Mallacoota, near the NSW border, and a popular place for stopovers in its historic guest cottages.

The 32-panel solar system means substantial environmental, economic and social benefits, and less safety risks associated with transporting fuel.

Greenhouse gas emission reduction is estimated to be around 17 tonnes a year, and savings on reduced fuel, maintenance and generator depreciation about $18K per year.

Approximately 100 hours of staff time is being saved by having a lot less fuel transported to the island.

The ambience of the island is also better with a lot less generator noise; running time is reduced by about 75% less.

“It’s not the first-time Parks Victoria has installed solar power in a remote location,” says Parks Victoria’s Sustainable Practice Coordinator, Peter Jenkins.

“It’s been used in Tidal River, French Island and Point Nepean, but not on this scale, or in such a remote and challenging environment. This is a high-quality system designed to resist damage from salt and wind, and it can be monitored remotely.”

Its estimated that the return on investment will be around five years, and if the cost benefit analysis is positive, Stage 2 of the project will involve the installation of a wind turbine as a back-up.

Parks Victoria Team Leader at Mallacoota, Phil Reichelt, is a strong supporter of the project and says its positive on all fronts.

“It’s about Parks Victoria embracing the use of renewable energy for power generation in remote areas. With solar panels, battery storage, and generator back up, staff and guests on Gabo Island can sleep easy knowing that their electricity needs are being met in an environmentally responsible and economically sustainable manner. “

Media enquiries
Sally Nowlan
0417 391 175

Parks Victoria media centre